Haven’t we all been exposed to road kill along the highway? We know perfectly well that mammals have stomachs by seeing their bloated carcasses on the edge of the road. So, why do we still require our children to pick apart animals for dissection? Leonardo Divinci was fascinated with the human body, and learned to draw by viewing cadavers. But, few of us are Divincis, and we are definately not in the Middle Ages, so why does this practice continue?
With home schoolers, I think it’s sort of a Mom thing. We seem to think that because we were forced to do it, we should force our kids to do it also, right? Not necessarily.
Years after I was tormented in the science classroom, I found out I am DRASTICALLY allergic to formaldehyde. Actually, it is a very common allergen. Children may have severe reactions to this chemical including asthma, eczema, headaches. Symptoms may not appear until well after the exposure so it is difficult to track. It is in so many common household items, it’s frightening. Just look at this list:
Fabrics treated with formaldehyde resins and in which some free formaldehyde remains. Formaldehyde resins provide the unique qualities of the following fabrics:
- Permanent press
- Anti-cling, anti-static, anti-wrinkle and anti-shrink finishes
- Chlorine-resistant finishes
- Stiffening on lightweight nylon knits
- Waterproof finishes
- Perspiration proof finishes
- Moth proof and mildew resistant finishes
- Suede and chamois
Here are some other common items that contain formaldehyde, and how to avoid them. Can you believe it’s even in some children’s vitamins?
Whether the allergy came first, or was a product of the dissection experience, I don’t know. But, it is safe to say that dissection is not for everyone. Why would we expose our kids to this stuff if it’s not really necessary?
Our oldest son really enjoyed dissections. We had a great group of Mom’s who helped run the labs and all the kids would get together and dissect. It was rather challenging to have to find and clean up all the fish guts and scales flying around the kitchen, but overall they all seemed to enjoy it.
Enter son number two. Everything is so different the second time around. Ted really dislikes the dissections. You can see the repulsive expression on his face: